Skip to main content

tv   American Morning  CNN  April 11, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EDT

6:00 am
good monday morning to you. i'm kiran chetry. a lot happening overnight. first of all, the federal government open for business this morning, but if you think the budget battle ended with the last-minute deal that averted a shutdown friday, think again. a much bigger fight, we're talking trillions, is just ahead and we're live in washington with the latest. >> i'm ali velshi. moammar gadhafi reportedly agrees to a road map to peace, as nato air strikes blast his forces out of a key city. does the road map show the dictator the door? i'm christine romans, severe weather in the nation's
6:01 am
heartland, a storm system spawns dozens of tornadoes, including one that wiped out more than half of a small town in iowa. on this "american morning." welcome to "american morning." glad you're with us. as april 11th. when we left our viewers we weren't sure if we were going to be -- the government in business. now they've averted that crisis, and they're fighting again. >> but -- yeah. there are two more crises on the horizon. first, more news out of jaen. >> breaking news from japan a 6.6 magnitude earthquake has rocked the northern part of the country, comes exactly one month after the earthquake and tsunami that has killed more than 13,000 people and triggered a nuclear crisis. we're live in tokyo this morning. what can you tell us about the latest quake? >> we can tell you it wasn't just one earthquake, kiran. we saw a series of earthquakes in a short period of time. according to the japanese
6:02 am
meteorological agency, there were four within the span of 20 minutes and the big concern is all of those earthquakes were very close to the crippled fukushima nuclear facility, a nuclear plant that has been the focus of the world about radiation concerns going into international waters but contaminating the land all around it. from what tepco tells us, the company that owns this nuclear plant, they had to evacuate all the workers. they lost critical external power to reactors one through three. these are already damaged reactors. they could not cool the reactors for approximately a 55 minutes because they lost power and could not pump the water on to those reactors. all of that has been restored, but certainly this is a concern, seismologists say that over the next year, we are still expecting in japan aftershocks of up to 7. so when you throw the nuclear crisis in with the unstable ground here japan is expecting, certainly trying to get ahead of
6:03 am
this crisis is going to be difficult. keeren. >> >> so one through three lost power for a period of time. power has been restored to the reactors and they are back on the job trying to cool them? >> yes. absolutely. workers have also returned to the facility and they're trying to continue to cool those reactors. tepco says they don't envision any long-lasting impact from having lost power and not being able to cool those reactors for approximately 55 minutes and hope to, again, try to get ahead of this emergency. when you mix in these aftershocks with a crippled nuclear plant that's a huge challenge here. >> certainly for so many people fighting for basic necessities as well, it's just nerve-racking and as you said, seismologists say this could go on for a year. thank you. in washington, one fight to reign in spending and pass a budget, may be ending, but another bigger fight i beginning. it took $38.5 billion in spending cuts to avert a government shutdown. well now democrats and
6:04 am
republicans have to deal with a $14 trillion question about raising the debt ceiling. that's the amount of money the country can legally borrow and we're about to hit our limit. brianna keilar live in washington for us. just when you thought everyone is holding hands and getting along after friday's big deal, we have a whole week of fighting ahead. >> i know. it seemed like a crazy week, but if you're a runner, that was the stretch, kind of the warmup, and here we go, kiran. take a look at week ahead of us. of course we have to tie up some of the loose ends from last week. we're going to be seeing that budget, the deal that was struck on friday night, filed tonight. what does that mean? we're going to see what the cuts are. something we haven't seen yet. then, members of congress will have the chance to read the bill through today, through tuesday, wednesday we'll see the vote on this in the house. we expect the senate to follow suit. on thursday, and then, if you can believe it, we'll be dealing with the 2012 budget vote in the house. this is a budget that was proposed by the chairman of the
6:05 am
budget committee in the house, paul ryan, and it's very controversial, it's backed by republicans. it actually aims to turn medicare from a government-run insurance system into a government subsidized system. major changes to medicaid as well making it into block grants, divvying up the money to states and having them deal with it. this isn't expected to see the light of day in the senate, kiran, but this is going to be a big rhetorical fight and we'll see that beginning wednesday, thursday, going into friday, kiran. >> speaking of the fight, you're also -- i mean republicans have indicated they're not going to give a, quote, clean bill yes to the debt ceiling without getting some assurances, perhaps, on some policy issues? into yeah. just like we saw with the -- with the last bill to fund the rest of this budget year, the debt ceiling is going to be a gigantic fight. the treasury department says they expect the u.s. to hit its debt ceiling, which is just under $14.3 trillion, by mid-may, by may 16th.
6:06 am
what you need to know is that the last couple weeks of april, congress is on recess, so this is really something that they're going to have a couple weeks in may to deal with. you have conservative republicans, michelle balkmchma not going to vote to raise the debt ceiling, because it gives congress the license to spend. but congress has obligations to make some payments and they're going to hit the debt ceiling no matter what. if the debt ceiling was not to be raised you're looking at the u.s. defaulting on loans, something that would affect all of us, increase interest rates, it would be, really, a bit of a financial disaster. it's a batter that has to -- battle that has to pull through congress but not going to be pretty. >> brianna keilar, in washington, thank you. moammar gadhafi reportedly ready for a cease-fire. the libyan government and the african union saying they have a deal on a road map to peace, their words, that ends fighting, allows humanitarian aid to be delivered and starts talks with rebel leaders. it's unclear whether that
6:07 am
agreement means that gadhafi will step down, although the rebel army has insisted on that. a long-time dictator has called for unilateral cease-fires before, only to continue attacks against his own people. nato strikes help the libyan rebels regain control of a key city. gadhafi's forces were pushed back when nearly a dozen tanks were destroyed in ajdabiya, considered the gateway to benghazi, libya's second largest city and home to the rebels. okay. if you filled up your tank recently, it's not going to come as a surprise that gas prices are climbing. according to aaa the national average for a gallon of regular is $3.77, that's just 34 cents from the all-time high of $4.11 a gallon set in july of 2008. >> although gas was a lot higher back then, gas up to $147. >> oil. >> that's right. powerful storms in the nation's heartland, a small town of mapleton, iowa, taking the biggest hit. a tornado hit this town, packing
6:08 am
165-mile-an-hour winds at the time. that's what they were clocked at. >> look at that. >> flattening half the town. iowa's governor has declared a disaster declaration for the county. this was shot by a storm chaser and shows that huge funnel cloud. look how wide out it goes into the sky as well. over mapleton. the tornado was about a quarter mile wide. several other tornadoes were also spotted across the state, but despite all of that damage, they say no deaths were reported. >> thankfully. out of control wildfires are raging across texas. one might be the worst in the state's history, burned 71,000 acres so far. texas fire fighters were able to get the upper hand on six other fires yesterday. still, they say over a dozen more are spreading, more than 70 homes have been destroyed and more may burn down. texas isn't alone in this, by the way. red flag warnings are up in six states. oklahoma declared a state of emergency after fires there forced evacuations. rob marciano is in the extreme weather center. rob, amazing pictures from that
6:09 am
iowa tornado yesterday. is that storm system still spawning tornadoes today or is that petered out? >> it's moved to the east, haven't lost all of its energy. a lot moved to the south as far as the tornadic activity. and that would be down across parts of texas where they're still a tornado watch in effect for parts of east texas and texarkana area. as this moves to the east, we're looking at it to take the severe weather threat with it. so texas will be out of it here in the next couple of hours. folks in iowa, wisconsin, also got hit hard sunday night. there was multiple tornados that touched down there with some damage and injuries, and this is a round of storms will be pressing off to the east. we don't have as high of a risk today of seeing a tornadoes, but the severe threat will be widespread from st. louis back up through detroit and this will be pushing east into the ohio and tennessee river valleys throughout the day today and the afternoon and evening will be the times that we have to watch most carefully. i think most of the east coast, at least for today, will be dry. tonight and tomorrow will be a different story as this front
6:10 am
pushes off to the east. look at the warmup. 85 in atlanta. record highs across georgia over the weekend. 88 degrees expected for the high temperature in d.c. all this warmth buildings on the eastern coastline, will only add fuel to the fire when this line of storms gets to that area tonight and tomorrow. so we got a good couple days of rough weather to deal with. it is april and this is what happens and a rough weekend for folks in the midwest. more details throughout the morning. >> rob marciano, thanks, rob. i don't know if you watched the final round of the masters, looked like tiger maybe was regaining some of his old mo jo but in the end the son of a south african chicker farmer who ended up wearing the green jacket. 26-year-old charl schwartzel is the masters champion, birdie the final four to win by two shots over a couple australians, adam scott and jason day. for a brief moment it did look like tiger might be taking home his fifth green jacket. he started the final round seven shots back, made a charge on the
6:11 am
front nine and had a share of the lead for a moment, but faded down the stretch. it's been 18 months since tiger's last victory. >> fun watching. the weather was fantastic for the masters. up next, the tea party express. changing the game on capitol hill, preparing for another big battle now against the president. >> then a little later, a serious lapse in security, at an airport. a female passenger breezes through security with a man's boarding pass, for a different month. >> ouch. >> find out how this happened. 11 minutes past the hour. ♪ when it's planes in the sky ♪ ♪ for a chain of supply, that's logistics ♪ ♪ when the parts for the line ♪ ♪ come precisely on time ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ a continuous link, that is always in sync ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪
6:12 am
♪ there will be no more stress ♪ ♪ cause you've called ups, that's logistics ♪ is this a jowl? [ female announcer ] fight the forces of gravity. stay! new roc® multi correxion™ lift with protient® plus... skin looks lifted overnight. roc® multi correxion™. correct what ages you. what gravity? by giving me huge discounts on rooms hotels can't always fill. with unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. where you book matters. expedia.
6:13 am
6:14 am
if you thought we were done talking about money you are out of luck. the battle over the budget came down to the wire on friday night, a fight over billions of dollars with a "b." we're talking about trillions with a "t," the real fight, the one getting started is over the country's debt limit. by law the amount that the u.s. can carry, the amount of debt the u.s. can carry is $14.294
6:15 am
trillion. it's a credit limit congress sets. that's what they can borrow. here's where we stand right now. the actual current debt of the united states, $14.208 trillion. the difference between the two, is $86 billion. now the u.s. is going to exceed this limit by may the 16th, based on current spending. the government can pull a few tricks and get away with being over the limit until about july 8th. but not increasing this credit limit is going to create some problems. now, there are two scenarios for what could happen if congress doesn't raise that debt limit by may 16th. neither of them are good. the government can cut spending or it can raise taxes. they need to raise $738 billion to keep the country running until the end of the fiscal year, september 30th. but democrats oppose cuts and -- oppose increasing taxes so if
6:16 am
they don't do that, the u.s. could default on its loans. that could create a big problem. that could send the dollar plummeting, oil prices higher, hobble an already delicate economy, which is why this, this debt ceiling, is going to become the focus of our intentions for the next month, christine. >> means we can't borrow any more money to pay for the country to keep going. >> the same as you running up against the top of your credit card, calling up the bank saying i need you to increase my limit, the bank saying huh-uh. >> you are the bank and keep raising the limit every time. thanks. republicans eventually agreed to $38 billion in spending cuts to get a budget deal done, not nearly enough according to the tea party express, calling the deal a disaster and criticizing john boehner for buckling in the heat of battle. jim acosta live in washington. jim, the tea party made its mark on this budget process and sounds like they've only just begun here, right? >> that's right. yeah. you can certainly say that disappointment is brewing inside the tea party over this budget
6:17 am
compromise. many of the conservative moment's prominent leaders from michelle bachmann to rand paul not to mention the new backed members of congress, believe the cuts don't go far enough. then there are the leading groups of the tea party movement. take the tea party nation which blasted out a series of nasty e-mails over the weekend to the members of its organization, slamming this deal, including this. from the tea party nation, almost universal opinion of tea party members is the agreement reached friday night john white flag of surrender boehner, their words, and the democrats is nothing short of a disaster. tea backed members of congress were restrained but disappointed on the sunday talk shows. >> the house republicans needed to pick a fight and i think john boehner fought the good fight. i think he drove a hard bargain here. i want to see the details, but from what i know, it sounds like john boehner got a good deal. probably not good enough for me to support it.
6:18 am
>> reporter: not good enough for mike pens and many other tea party members in congress going to vote against this compromise later this week. meanwhile, we should also note tea party groups are already planning to carry this message of big budget cuts right into the race for 2012. members of the tea party express, have set up a new political organization called the campaign to defeat barack obama. the group plans to start running ads in 2012 presidential battle ground states already and here's a sneak preview. >> we, the people, are fighting back for fiscal responsibility, a return to constitutional principles, with greater individual liberty and less government regulation over our lives. we deserve new leadership that serves with honor, integrity and decency, join us on-line at campaign to defeat obama.com. >> so the tea party groups are not taking a break from the political activity when it comes to budget issues. this ad will certainly put republicans on notice as well.
6:19 am
they remember how the tea party got behind conservative challengers instead of the gop backed candidates across the country in last year's midterm elections. if you thought this budget fight over the 2011 budget was something, wait until, as ali mentioned a few moments ago, the fight that's to come over the debt ceiling and the 2012 budgets. what happened over the weekend was just a sneak preview of coming attractions. >> we're not done talking about money and politics. >> not bay long shot. >> thanks, jim. >> something wrong with talking about it constantly. i know money is a thing that runs our government, but something wrong when that's all your discussion is about. >> to wait to the 11th hour, shouldn't they be doing this politics every day. >> i mean they have debates, they have voted over and over again to raise the debt ceiling. it's an election year and two very different factions now vying for control of how we spend our money. that's why it's an issue this year. >> we're all becoming mbas out of this. she had a boarding flight for a different flight,
6:20 am
different time, and a guy. was able to still get on the plane. a security lapse at memphis international airport. she was able to get on the plane with the wrong pass, account lean beard. she printed out an air tran boarding pass for her friend's old flight and no one noticed until before takeoff. >> they came on the plane, asking for my friend's name. i said he's not on the plane, but i know him. they said, where is he? i said he's at the office. and the two of us were perplexed equally as well because he couldn't phantom how i got through. >> so far, no one at the airport or the tsa is commenting on the incident. >> did she do that by accident? >> accidentally did it. in the end, i mean, she wasn't going to take off on the plane, but she did get on the plane. >> right. >> interesting. all right. coming up next on "american morning," it pays to be the top dog. ceos see their pay go up big time. how does that compare to what you're bringing home? i bet you have an idea about how
6:21 am
it compares. we'll tell you, minding your business after the break. >> what's funnier than a pie in the face? how about 700. college kids go for a messy world record. [ mom ] can a little bowl of cereal change your life? i think it can. one of the challenges for kayla being gluten-free
6:22 am
is actually finding choices the whole family will love. then we discovered chex cereals. five flavors of chex are gluten-free, including the honey nut flavor, and that's amazing to a mom like me. as a parent you don't want to have to tell your kids "no" all the time. it's nice for me to be able to say "yes" to something that they want to eat. [ male announcer ] chex cereal. five flavors. gluten free.
6:23 am
6:24 am
24 minutes past the hour. china's rapid growth and rising price of food, energy and other goods pushing the country's trade balance into the red. this is the first time this has happened in seven years. imports outweighed exports by more than a billion dollars in the first quarter. that is compared to a $13 billion surplus during the same time last year. china is the world's top exporters. it pays to have the corner office. ceo pay, surprise surprise, is on the rise. carmen wong ullrich is minding your business. >> i don't think i'm telling you anything too new. corporate profits are up 29% last year. that is the biggest jump in 60 years. along sooitsdsside with that, the top pay for ceos last year, an average of almost $10
6:25 am
million, up 12% from the year before. while the wages of the average u.s. worker have gone up 2%, the year before that 1%. take note, 23 years ago, ceo pay compared to the average worker was 191 to 1. now ceo pay is over 1,000 times that of the average worker. however, new study results seem to show that many americans are happy to have a job. this survey found 60% say, my pay is fair, almost 40% say they are underpaid, and not too big a surprise, men versus women come out different here. 30% of many say they're underpaid while 43% of women say they're underpaid because women make an average of 75 cents to the dollar of men. we feel differently. >> the 2% that said they were overpaid, that's the ceos. >> maybe not, actually, because the most of them say i need to make more money. a big boom year for them. >> carmen wong ullrich. >> it's all stock options. >> i'll take a dollar.
6:26 am
>> it's not an nba championship, but students at drake university broke the guinness book of world records for the largest custard pie fight. about 700 students let them rip saturday. students raised money for the peak of poverty that helps kids in africa for hiv and aids. >> every couple months they try to break the world record for and never do. >> i want to find something obscure. >> a big custard fight on college campuses. >> we're trying to break the world record sitting next to ali for the most consecutive days. >> that was the case friday waiting for the budget decision to in down. wow. not christine, she was off. a good day. >> we enjoyed that. >> ahead on "american morning" think the budget bat until washington is over? not by a long shot. the pressing issue is the soaring national debt and whether or not they will run up against another game of chicken about whether or not to raise that debt limit. we're going to be speaking with
6:27 am
james clyburn coming up. 26 minutes past the hour. at any bank, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 anywhere in the world... tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 without having to pay to access your own money. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 it'd be like every atm in the world was your atm. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 the schwab bank high yield investor checking® account. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 zero atm fees. a great interest rate. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 no minimums. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and it's fdic-insured. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 the schwab bank high yield investor checking® account. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 the biggest thing in checking since checks. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 open an account at 1-800-4schwab or schwab.com. somewhere in america, a city comes to life. it moves effortlessly, breathes easily. it flows with clean water. it makes its skyline greener and its population healthier. all to become the kind of city people want to live and work in. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest questions. and the over sixty thousand people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers.
6:28 am
chances are your soil is like this: compacted, drained of nutrients. it'll hold your plants but it'll also hold 'em back. the solution: miracle-gro garden soil. the perfect mix of rich, organic ingredients, and miracle-gro plant food. just mix it in. and turn bad soil into great soil. helps plants grow twice as big. instead of holding 'em back, they'll leap ahead. miracle-gro garden soil. and moisture control garden soil. glowing. smooth. flawless. [ female announcer ] aveeno positively radiant with active naturals soy now treats all five factors of radiance; tone, texture, blotchiness, dullness and brown spots. that's positively radiant. only from aveeno. sweet & salty nut bars... they're made from whole roasted nuts and dipped in creamy peanut butter, making your craving for a sweet & salty bar irresistible, by nature valley.
6:29 am
we're crossing the half hour. top stories, round one of the budget fight is over, but a much bigger, new battle is taking shape. congressional democrats and republicans are now preparing to wage war over the soaring national debt. president obama's expected to unveil his plan for reducing the
6:30 am
deficit on wednesday, which may include cuts to medicare and medicaid. on the 30th day anniversary of japan's deadly tsunami and earthquake the northern part of the country rocked by a 6.6 magnitude earthquake as well as some other temblors. these forced workers at the crippled fukushima daiichi nuclear plant to evacuate again. the number of dead now over 13,000 and there still are more than 14,000 people missing. in a tiny town in iowa becomes a target for a monster tornado. 60% of mapleton, iowa, wiped out by this twister. the governor has declared a disaster area. thankfully no deaths have been reported there. the severe storms that ripped through the midwest are headed east. the next battle for congress front and center, bringing down the country 14.28 trillion dollars debt. president obama is going to unveil his deficit reduction plan on wednesday. meantime he's asked congress to raise the national debt ceiling. that is something that typically
6:31 am
has to be done. house speaker john boehner says not so fast. >> there's no plan to deal with the debt that we're facing. i can just tell you this, that there will not be an increase in the debt limit without something really, really big attached to it. >> south carolina congressman james clyburn is assistant minority leader in the house, joins us this morning from providence, rhode island. thank you very much for being with us. >> thank you so much for having me. >> what kind of strings do you think should be attached to raising the debt limit, if any? john boehner said there would have to be some very big strings attached. what do you think you would -- the republicans would attach to that? >> well, i don't know what they've got in mind, but i think what the president is going to lay out for the country, i think it's on wednesday, i think that would be a good starting point. i believe he's going to propose a comprehensive approach
6:32 am
bringing down our debt and going to eliminating these deficits and he will have an approach that will deal with the revenues as well as expenditures. and so that may be a good starting point to latch on to the debt ceiling. >> congressman, it's interesting, republicans have signaled they will again, like they did with this budget for 2011 that came down to the wire on friday, fundamental changes, perhaps, in health care policy and environment, over the abortion debate n exchange for their support on raising this debt ceiling. are those concessions a reality for democrats you might have to make these concessions to get this done? >> well, i would hope that the republicans would stop all this raid dealing with these riders or these ids listic approaches to governance and let's get to the issue of bringing down the debt, eliminating these
6:33 am
deficits, and putting our house on fiscal sound footing. that's what the people would like to see of pus. we can have all of these ideological debates at some other time and some other way. none of that should be tied to the budget. we should be working on getting people back to work. here we are, 100 days now, come april 14th, and they have not brought forth one single jobs -- job creating piece of legislation. so that's what we ought to be doing here. people don't want us arguing over what should or should not be their moral underpinnings. >> congressman clyburn, the republicans will say, however, that by stopping the government from spending, by trying to control the debt, john boehner said it friday night, when they had that deal, they said this is good for jobs. now, you said that you think the president's going to be dealing
6:34 am
with expenditures and revenues. revenues the republicans hear that as code for tax and say this is not a revenue problem. this is a spending problem. i know you're not going to agree with that, but the reality is, we can't be going down to the wire like we were on friday night every time you, the democrats and republicans and the tea party, don't agree. what's the plan going forward? >> well, my plan going forward would be, let's get rid of these subsidies for big oil companies. that is 40 to $50 billion revenue there. let's get rid of these tax breaks of people who are creating jobs overseas. that's another significant 25 to $30 billion if i believe all the experts. so that would be revenue. and that's revenue that people would like to see us bring into our coffers. if we are still arguing about tax rates, 35% corporate tax rates, what does it matter if
6:35 am
it's 75% if you've got 35 corporations that are paying 0 taxes. so, that's what i mean by comprehensive. i think that's what the president is going to be talking about. when he talks about revenues and expenditures. he's going to be talking about closing these loop holes, he's going to be talking about getting rid of these subsidies and putting our fiscal house in order. >> the truth, the debt ceiling is $14 trillion. it takes a lot of $50 billion cuts to get there and you have to fund the government. i mean that debt limit is what we have already spent. if it's not raised, we can't borrow more money to keep ourselves going and in a global capital market, big concerns about the image that the united states is projecting here. we've raised it and raised it. are you saying you think there's bipartisan support to figure out how to stop doing that? >> yes, i am saying that. i was there under the clinton administration when we did, in fact, eliminate the deficit and
6:36 am
we did, in fact, start it growing the revenues and he left office with this $260 billion surplus. i know it can be done. i was there, a part of doing it before. >> a booming economy sure helps, doesn't it? it sure helps when the economy booms gangbusters, that helped in the clinton administration. >> well -- >> yeah. finish your thought, sir. >> we are going gang busters yet, but we've created 1.8 million new jobs in the last 13 months. i think that's moving in the right direction. as opposed to 2.1 -- i'm sorry. >> just to get you on the record, if republicans try to bring in health care, epa or abortion will you vote against the fwoil raise the debt ceiling? >> i'll look at the bill in a comprehensive way. i'm not going to vote to eliminate health care reform. we didn't just vote to eliminate health care reform. we should not go back to
6:37 am
discriminating against people with preexisting conditions and to getting people kicked off their health insurance policies as soon as they get real sick. that's not what a compassionate government ought to be about. >> good to get your thoughts this morning, congressman clyburn, thank you for joining us. >> we should remember that while this new budget that we're talking about has to be in place by october 1st, this debt ceiling, this problem, will happen on may 16th. that's right in front of us. >> stuff the government can do -- >> until july with the treasury, but not much. >> 37 minutes past the hour. >> we'll be right back. welcome back to geico radio, it's savings, on the radio.
6:38 am
hello uh george and linda! george: hello mr. gecko! linda: so, we're such huge fans - george: of yours...and would be really honored... linda: ...if you would marry us. me? linda: yea! you just seem so smart...so - george: british - sounding. i'm not really qualified to speak on matters of the heart. look i'll tell you this: when you insure more than one car geico you could save even more with our multi-car discount. i now pronounce you...thrifty! geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. do --
6:39 am
6:40 am
a controversial ban on burqas begins in france. anyone caught wearing one or forcing someone else to wear one, could face fines or jail times. zain verjee live in london. how to french authorities plan to enforce this new law. >> what they're doing is saying essentially effective today, if anyone is out on the streets with the burqa, the full is veil with the nesh that covers the eyes, or a full veil that leaves the slit open, they're going to fine them up to $200 or there's
6:41 am
jail time that they face. they also suggest that they may also do community service and take classes on french values and things like that. you know, guys, france's self-image is really very secular and france has always been pretty uncomfortable with any kind of religion in your face kind of in the public sphere. this is a real sensitive one. >> it's interesting, because i mean, they're already, the aclu and others, have said this is not fair, a violation of human rights, but to be clear, they are allowing women to wear other head scarves like the one that covers less and just a plain head scarf. saying that's how they're getting away with this not being an attack on a specific rillen. >> that's right. people can wear the ha jab so the covers the neck and face open. the other point to make here, guys, is that in the islamic world, a topic like this is interpreted differently. there are about a billion people that follow islam around the world.
6:42 am
in france, you have people that say on the one hand, this is awful. we should have the right to express our religion and do whatever we want, basically, and then you have another group of muslims that say we don't believe that state should have legislated this but what you could have done, they say, is persuade and convince people and conjol them to see the french point of view here. >> the french motto is liberty or some combination of that and one of the things they're trying to do is say this is not inherently french, that it doesn't promote equality among all people if you have some women, some cases, being forced to wear this, by their husbands or fathers. is that the french point of view here? >> it's totally the point of view. they say this is the national value of france. it's in the constitution. equality of the sexism and that's what this is about. we're talking about, you know, about 2,000 women in france, apparently, that wear either the nicob. a poll done in 80% of france
6:43 am
thinks this is okay and it's consistent with the constitution. >> in america two-thirds believe it's wrong to ban burqas. the public opinion is split and women are defying this in france regardless of the fines or fees. >> watch zain every morning on "world one" here on cnn. >> coming up, ashley judd's painful past. the actress's new memoir reveals how traumatic events in childhood called her to a life of social activism. she sat down with' lena cho.
6:44 am
carpools, conferences, microwave dinners. they blur one into the next. we lose ourselves in the fog of everyday life, and drift away from what matters. but like a beacon in the night, it finds us. the light of more than 100 lighthouses, burning through that fog, and beckoning us back to what's real and true. this light shines for us all. this light is pure michigan. your trip begins at michigan.org here's what you need to know to start your day. the white house says president obama is working on a plan to shrink the soaring national debt and will unveil the details on wednesday to counter a republican plan that's expected to include reform of popular, bust costly programs, like medicare and medicaid. a 6.6 magnitude earthquake
6:45 am
has rocked northern japan, exactly a month after the killer quake and tsunami of march 11th. moments of silence are being observed as officials widen the evacuation zone around the damaged nuclear power plant in fukushima. dangerous weather in the midwest. a major tornado nearly reduced the small town of mapleton, iowa, to rubble. 60% of that town leveled. those storms now moving east. gas prices up for the 20th straight day. this morning the national average for a gallon of regular, $3.77. this according to aaa. that's just 34 cents from the all-time high set back in 2008. and 26-year-old charl schwartzel the 2011 masters champion. tiger woods made a charge on the front nine and had a share of the lead, but the african made birdies on each of the last four holes and earned golf's green jacket. you're caught up on the day's headlines. "american morning" back in 60 seconds.
6:46 am
your advertising mail campaign is paying off! business is good! it must be if you're doing all that overnight shipping. that must cost a fortune. it sure does. well, if it doesn't have to get there overnight, you can save a lot with priority mail flat rate envelopes. one flat rate to any state, just $4.95. that's cool and all... but it ain't my money. i seriously do not care... so, you don't care what anyone says, you want to save this company money! that's exactly what i was saying. hmmm... priority mail flat rate envelopes, just $4.95 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
6:47 am
we have pictures here of north carolina hail damage. look how big those are. rob was talking about this storm moving from the midwest, the big storm that hit iowa now moving east. >> look at that, windshields shattered everywhere, took out cars, wind gusts so strong. clocked 164-mile-per-hour winds in the small area of mapleton, iowa, 20,000 people lost electricity and that's just days after another storm caused 200,000 power outages. >> rob marciano is in the extreme weather center with more on this. >> we had just yesterday, a lot of the storm damage from saturday, but just yesterday, several reports of tornadoes across wisconsin. and that whole section of storms as you mentioned moving off to the east. here it is, your threat for today, pretty much across the appalachians, allegheny plateau through the tennessee valley and ohio river valleys down to the south, moving in to some pretty warm air. high temperatures from yesterday, 106 in laredo, jacksonville 92, georgia
6:48 am
temperatures over 90 degrees and 90 in arkansas and we had a slew of records across other parts of the country. here's your severe weather right now. this strong line of storms is getting a little bit more strong down to the south. we do have reports of power outages across north texas because of the storms that rolled through a couple of hours ago. still have this tornado watch that's in effect for the next couple hours, probably let this expire, but a couple strong cells moving east of dallas now. watch out for that area. st. louis up through indianapolis, this is where the northern edge of the line is, although not as strong right now. we're going to see a slew of travel delays today because of that. most of the east coast, including new york, won't see rain until tomorrow but it will be toasty, temperatures in the 70s and 80s across parts of the i-95 corridor. >> what is that, three days without rain in new york, thank you, rob? you got it. >> morning's top stories minutes away. your feedback pouring in after parents protesting a peanut allergy. they say the school is going too far to protect one single
6:49 am
student. her father is here to tell us how the family is doing and what this policy means for the family and other students. 48 minutes after the hour. act my age? -why? -why? -why? [ female announcer ] we all age differently. roc® multi-correxion 4 zone moisturizer with roc®retinol and antioxidants. lines, wrinkles, and sun damage will fade. roc multi-correxion. correct what ages you. by constantly re-imagining and reinventing technology, they help people connect in ways never before possible. and by choosing the new york stock exchange to accelerate their business. aren't getting enough whole grain. but actually, it's never been easier to get the whole grain you want from your favorite big g cereals. from cheerios to lucky charms, there's whole grain in every box. make sure to look for the white check.
6:50 am
we could've gone a more traditional route... ... but it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable. ♪
6:51 am
6:52 am
in a very frank new memoir, ashley judd reveals details of her painful childhood including incest, abuse and thoughts of suicide. >> and how that experience led her to a life of humanitarian work. alina cho has a chance to sit down with ashley judd. seemed to be the one judd that had it altogether. >> some are calling her the forgotten judd. we know ashley judd as a famous actress from the movies. what is less known is that she also spends a great deal of her
6:53 am
time traveling around the world, doing humanitarian work. she was horrified by what she saw, abuse, neglect and violence, and realized she had experienced some of the same things in her own life. she started a detailed diary back in 2004. it turned into a book. it's called "all that is bitter and sweet." and it is. in her words she was wholly unprepared for the attention being given to her personal story. watch. >> well, i didn't necessarily want to talk about it. it was never my intention. some folks i really trust encouraged me to become willing to share part of my story. otherwise it doesn't necessarily make sense why i love visiting -- and it sounds peculiar to say -- why i love and it's important to me, to spend time in brothels and refugee camps and slums and holding the dying who for 25 cents could have not gotten a
6:54 am
preventable disease or for $5 could have been cured. >> meaning, there was something about your childhood that shaped you and wanted you to give back. what was that? >> in my strange capacity for emotional extremes. my strange tolerance for emotional extremes. i grew up in really extreme situations. and that's why. >> you do talk about being diagnosed with depression earlier on in life and you talk about in the book, that you used to play with your mother's gun, pondering whether, quote, it would be worth it to shoot myself. how old were you when you thought about suicide? >> i am so uncomfortable right now, i can't see straight. >> we don't have to talk about this. if you don't feel comfortable -- >> i think it's a distraction. >> but you wrote about it in the book. >> i did. happily so and the book is 400 some odd pages and that stuff is like 40 or 50. really, the book to me is the 350 pages which is about what's going on in the rest of the world, not necessarily how
6:55 am
painful it was growing up in my househo household. >> people are very, very interested in this and your childhood. you haven't spoken about it really before. >> and i've been wholly prepared for it. i really have been. >> let's talk about your work then. obviously your childhood shaped your philanthropic work. what do you get out of taking those trips and spending so much time in country, if you will? >> i get out of myself one of my favorite places to be, and into relationship with other human beings. i get to live my spiritual values and principles and faith. no one is disposable. everyone matters. i'm very honored to be entrusted with the sacred narratives of people, who for whatever reason, just open up to me and tell me everything. and i get to hold them, literally, and metaphorically. i had the opportunity to let them know they're not alone.
6:56 am
>> ashley's mom and sister who we know as the judds, of course, naomi and winona, have spoken out saying we agree to disagree but, quote, we are allowing each of us to have a voice and it's ashley's turn. for her part, ashley judd says she loves her mom and sister and she has written is not the truth, but a truth. it is her reality and, of course, her sister and her mother, may have a different version of that personal story, but the one thing she wanted to get across in the interview is she feels like the message is getting lost because everyone is so focused on her personal story. obviously people are interested. but what she wants people to know about is her humanitarian work. a goodwill ambassador with population services internationalp she's traveled to 13 countries and plans to go to the congo this summer as part of the clinton global initiative as well. she is very committed to her humanitarian work. as nick chris tof said in the forward, her personal story did
6:57 am
arm her with empathy. >> it's interesting. so many people who write candid books about their life and say, it was only a small point, i didn't expect to get this much attention. when it's put out there, you have to ask about it. >> that's right. she will point out, that it's just 10% of the book, but it's 10% that the public -- the 10% that the public is interested in. >> if you don't want to be asked about it, the reason she has fans, they're not fans of her humanitarian work, they're fans of her and her public image and they want to know details of her personal life. >> that's absolutely right. i couldn't agree, more, christine. >> thank you so much. >> top stories coming your way after this break, 57 minutes after the hour.
6:58 am
>> it brings your best minds and their brightest ideas together. it helps the largest of companies seize opportunity like the smallest of startups. it's the network-- the intelligent, secure cisco network that lets your employees, partners, suppliers and customers innovate and share so you can unleash the power of your most valuable asset: your people. what's this option? that's new.
6:59 am
personal pricing now on brakes. tell us what you want to pay. we do our best to make that work. deal! my money. my choice. my meineke. the federal government open for business this morning after the last-minute deal to avoid a shutdown on friday. congress is bracing for a new, much bigger budget fight still
7:00 am
to come on this "american morning." >> good morning, everyone. it's monday, april 11th. welcome to "american morning." >> glad you're with us. we have a lot to talk about. first, unfortunately, gas prices, up again. the cost for a gallon of regular nearing prices we haven't seen in almost three years. we're going to tell you what it means for your family and the economy and whether they're going to head even higher as we enter summer. a florida first grader with a peanut allergy the subject of protests over steps the school is taking to protect her. we told you about this a couple weeks ago. your reaction has been phenomenal to the story. we'll talk to the girl's father later this hour. you've been accepted, three words that can be a dream for high school seniors, until the reality of tuition sets in. so how can you and your family pay for college? save for college without breaking the bank? we'll show you how to save. ing by a week ahead in washington. a budget battle looms over
7:01 am
raising the nation's debt ceiling. it took $38.5 billion billion in cuts to avoid a shutdown last week. democrats and republicans in congress have to deal with the next problem, a $14 trillion problem. >> the national debt currently $14.21 trillion and growing. next month it will hit $14.29 trillion. we could go on and on. that is the limit set by congress on how much they can go up to that, how much they can bo ro. president obama wants congress to raise it and republicans are pushing back. >> kate baldwin live from the white house in a moment, but first up brianna keilar on the new lines of the budget fight and joins us from washington. >> i guess that was a $38.5 billion ap pe tizer because the week ahead of us is going to be a pretty crazy week. today we're going to be getting details on the $38.5 billion in spending cuts. we're going to figure out what is being cut. and then we're going to be spending tuesday or today and tuesday and into wednesday, having a chance to read the bill
7:02 am
as will members of the american public, as will democrats and republicp are ens in congress who haven't seen the details. the house is going to be voting on the cuts, the 2011 budget on wednesday. expect the senate to follow suit on thursday. we will be seeing debate on already the 2012 budget. this is proposed by the chairman of the house budget committee, paul ryan. it's very controversial, aims to overhaul medicare and medicaid and we're going to be seeing a lot of rhetoric on that, christine. >> thanks, brianna. president obama is set to unveil the details of his plan to try to reduce the national deficit and tackle the debt as well on wednesday. cnn's kate baldwin is live at the white house this morning with more on this. hi, kate. >> hey there, kiran. of course we're done with one battle over the budget in the short term and now we're all looking at the long term problem. president obama, as you mentioned, he's going to be making an announcement on wednesday of his proposal of how to take on the country's long-term deficits and debt.
7:03 am
no easy issue to take on as we know. his senior adviser, david plouffe, made the rounds yesterday to tee up and set the stage for the president's announcement this week. listen here to a little bit of him. >> we clearly have to do more. you have to look at savings you might get in medicare and medicaid. social security is not a contributor to the short-term deficit problem but in the process of talking about our fiscal situation and government, we ought to look if there's a way to strengthen social security for the long term that doesn't endanger anybody who's a current beneficiary or splash benefits. defense, domestic spending, revenues will have to be part of this. >> you see there, david plouffe, laying out some of what we will be hearing about in the said announcement. it still remains unclear of how specific the president will be or more broad, setting more goals or principles in working with congress on this. but obviously the battle ahead in this, of course, david plouffe did mention, we should
7:04 am
note, this will be a marked difference, sharp departure from the paul ryan plan that brianna mentioned, and david plouffe saying candidly the ryan plan doesn't have a chance of becoming law. we'll see how this plays out when the president makes his announcement wednesday. set against the back drop of why the push now. you know this, congress has -- now needs to vote to raise the debt ceiling and that, of course, is on top of the mind of this administration. >> the larger issue, why that debate, why gear up for a fight now. there are some republicans who say the president had to be dragged kicking and screaming to talk about reducing the deficit. it's an election year. >> exactly. and you know, the white house will say from the white house position, they'll say he hasn't been drug kicking and screaming. they say he set out a strong plan in his 2012 budget proposal, republicans very quickly criticize any idea of taking on long-term deficits and debt was markedly, they say noticeably absent from the budget proposal. you will give the left, right, middle side, they're taking on
7:05 am
this battle now and going to be a fierce one. >> kate, thanks very much. another earthquake has rocked northern japan and had a 6.6 magnitude and forced workers at the severely damaged nuclear power plant in fukushima to evacuate. police say there are landslides in the area, three homes have been buried, four people trapped inside. this latest quake hit exactly a month after the deadly earthquake and tsunami of march 11th. today the japanese people are holding somber ceremonies to mark the anniversary. in tokyo and sendai, sendai one of the hardest hit activities, all activity stopped as people held hands and bowed their head for a moment of silence. the death toll stands at 13,116 dead, 14,377 missing. and the situation is growing more tense at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power station. official are planning to widen the evacuation zone around the crippled plant as workers struggle to get control of six reactors to stop radiation from leaking into the atmosphere.
7:06 am
the evacuation zone is 12 miles, but dangerous levels of radiation are being recorded more than 25 miles from the plant. there's talk right now of a cease-fire in libya. whether that turns to action still remains to be seen, but moammar gadhafi is saying he's ready, at least the agreement with the african union is calling a, quote, road map to peace that ends fighting, allows for humanitarian aid to be delivered, and also begins talks with rebel leaders but it's still unclear, does that mean gadhafi will step down? the rebel army has insisted on that. the long-time dictator has called for unilateral crease fires before only to continue attacks against his own people. nato strikes help the libyan rebels regain control of a key city. gadhafi's forces were pushed back when nearly a dozen tanks were destroyed in ajdabiya, considered the gateway to benghazi, libya's second largest city and home base for the rebels. parts of the upper midwest are bracing for another day of violent weather. the town of mapletown, iowa, will have to be rebuilt after a tornado, a quarter mile wide
7:07 am
tornado, leveled more than half of the town this weekend. the twister's nighttime furry captured on tape. >> this is a pretty strong-looking nighttime tornado. two of them, dual funnels, look at that. >> amazing, the lightning flashes, lighting up the width of those funnels there. iowa's governor declared mapleton a disaster area. no deaths have been reported. rob marciano joins us from the extreme weather center with more details. you said the system is moving east, will it carry some of the same intensity? >> not today. we had storms this morning across north texas, beginning to weaken as the system pulls to the east. iowa got hammered late in the day on saturday, sunday, yesterday, wisconsin also had several reports of tornadoes with damage and injuries. today there will be a severe weather threat. the radar, now moving into shreveport and texarkantexarkanf the dallas area, north texas reporting about 75,000 people without power at this hour with the storms that moved through
7:08 am
this morning and late last night and this band of storms pushing into the ohio river valley where we expect the severe weather threat to be today as the northern part of this moves a little faster than the southern part. typical of this type of system. it will stretch into the i-95 corridor of the northeast, but i don't think that will happen until late late tonight through early tomorrow. until then, take a look at these daytime high temperatures. 82 expected in d.c., 72 in new york. we had a slew of record highs over the weekend, including the masters at augusta, saturday and sunday, were the two warmest saturday and sudden rounds at augusta since they've been playing that tournament. toasty about everywhere. back up to you. >> all right. rob, thank you very much. tiger roared briefly as they say, but it was the son of a south african chicken farmer who got to wear the famous green jacket. 26-year-old charl schwartzel is your 2011 masters champion. he birdied the final four holes to win by two shots over a couple australians, adam scott
7:09 am
and jason day. for a brief moment it looked like tiger woods might take home his fifth green jacket. he started the final round seven shots back, but made a charge on the front nine, and had a share of the lead for a moment. >> that was the roar. >> that was the roar. and then the whimper happened. he faded down the stretch. it's 18 months since tiger's last victory. another battle -- one budget battle down, another big one to go. this time we're talking trillions instead of mere billions that almost brought us to the brink of a shutdown. >> a million dollars. a plane carrying four people goes up in flames after it smashes into a building. surprisingly all four people are safe. details ahead. water, we take our showers with it. we make our coffee with it. but we rarely tap its true potential and just let it be itself. flowing freely into clean lakes, clear streams and along more fresh water coast line than any other state in the country.
7:10 am
come realize water's true potential. dive in-to the waters of pure michigan. your trip begins at michigan.org. announcer: when your eyes are smiling, you're smiling. be kind to your eyes with transitions lenses. transitions adapt to changing light so you see your whole day comfortably and conveniently while protecting your eyes from the sun. ask your eyecare professional which transitions lenses are right for you. authentic transitions lenses are available at jcpenney optical.
7:11 am
7:12 am
it's been two days since an 11th hour budget deal was struck but the real battle, the real battle is just beginning. >> they don't all have to be as dramatic as the last one, maybe they won't. but we're not talking about billions as we were in the 2011 budget. we're talking about trillions of dollars that they're going to be fighting over in washington. and here's a term you'll be hearing a lot over the course of the next month. debt ceiling. joining us tos did you th s dis that live from washington, susan with us on friday as this was unfolding and democratic strategi strategist, welcome to both of
7:13 am
us. >> you are sitting next to each other. >> bipartisan support. >> it's a woman thing. >> we can do that. >> a girl thing. >> let's bring that woman or girl thing to the next debate because we are one month away from hitting the top of our credit limit for purposes of americans to understand what this is about. it is a big battle. susan, this, i don't know who won on this battle debate that ended on friday night. the budget debate. but we are going to get into a mess if this same way of doing business carries on into the debt ceiling debate. >> well, i think everybody won friday night, the fact that the nation continued to run, the government continued to be funded, and we ended up cutting $38 billion out of last year's baseline which makes it even more than that. i think everybody wins because we're continuing a debate. as the president has shown when he comes on board with a deficit reduction plan this week. we're talking about how much the cuts were in the past. recent past we've talked how much we want to spend.
7:14 am
it is a big victory. you're right, when it comes to the debt ceiling this is another opportunity for some changes to be made, but it's important that the debt ceiling vote take place and i think you're going to see the president a lot more engaged in this one. his treasury secretary, other members of his cabinet, have staked out and gone on point, on raising the debt ceiling. i think you're going to see him more engaged early on and will have the beneficial results. >> you've held office. i'm wondering how important is this debate, so in the election year some of the men and women can get on record on how they voted for it. to the american public they feel that there's a lot of politics and a little less economics. >> there is a lot of politics and economics. your point is well taken and president obama voted against them himself. >> in 2006. >> when a sitting senator, presumably for political reasons. this is a vote, i think, that members should take seriously, one that if everybody played politics -- and one of those
7:15 am
things that everybody hopes i'll get to play politics with it and you do the right thing, because everybody gets this has to go through. >> susan raises a point. when you look at the debt ceiling issue a difference between the politics pla uds in managing the budget. i like to say the winner friday was the american taxpayer not just because government kept running but we didn't run up a big bill, the cost to shut government down. >> what's important here, when you look at the -- what's going to be the debate around the debt ceiling, this needs to be about facts and pragmatism, not ideolo ideology. this has to be about practical solutions and that's really the debate we have to have. >> let me ask you this, kiki. when it comes down to it, everybody may have won in this, but it went in a direction that democrats didn't want it to go in. so the reality is, what have democrats learned out of this run up to this budget battle and that near shutdown about how they have to approach the debt ceiling conversation and the 2012 budget debate? >> i think you weight that too heavily to one side.
7:16 am
i think there are things in friday's deal the extremes on either end didn't care for. in fact, the concept that everything's on the table and everybody is at the table to keep this moving forward. here's the issue with the debt ceiling. if hyper partisans choose to make the debt ceiling a token or hostage to a political or ideological debate, we're a washout for getting to the next step which is dealing with the 2012 debate and beyond. the minute people do that and it becomes this hyper partisan moment as opposed to here's a practical step we have to take forward to manage our budget, to manage our debt, to get us in a forward motion, to create jobs and grow our economy again, it's a washout. if we can go into that, with a really pragmatic conversation, and give the gang of six as they've been titled, those in the senate on a bipartisan basis working on our budget, we have a shot at moving forward. >> this is really about findings solutions and what both parties saw last week is an absolute attitude that the american public will not stand by for
7:17 am
politics to be played with their future. that's what they both felt on friday and how we moved into a deal. >> i want to show you a chart that shows the debt ceiling and how many times we've raised it. pretty much bipartisan support to keep raising it. >> think of it as your credit limit. >> we've committed money in a budget, we spend money in a way and then go in the international markets and borrow money. this is the limit how much we can borrow and the like. as we get down to the important point, put it to you, susan, do you think that the president, john boehner, the democratic leadership and republican leadership, have learned something about each other in the continuing resolution fight that will make this maybe a little less painful? >> i think that's a very interesting question and while a lot of people were saying friday night, this is just about -- as in washington, this is just about billions, the real fight on the trillions, what this was was the first dance between all of them, between senator reid and how far he could move, to the middle, with speaker boehner
7:18 am
and how he was going to be able to control his ranks in the house, and the president of the united states. it was their first go-round. if you heard, all their speeches thanking each other, thanking their staff, i think there isn't a different level. they felt each other out. they know their vulnerabilities and strengths. a lot of the time that was taken to sort of feel each other out, is -- has been done already and now they sort of nowhere they're coming from when the negotiations begin. this is a lot more important to the president in terms of taking the lead. >> lot more important, doesn't have to be as dramatic. can probably be handled a different way. thank you for joining us and a great conversation. >> glad to be here. >> thank you. >> still ahead, a plane misses the runway, smashes into a building, and bursts into flames. all of the people on board got out okay. more on exactly what happened. also, the group of circus lions rescued and relocated to colorado, some of them were in pretty bad shape when they got to the states. an update on how they're doing in their new hab by tate. 18 minutes past the hour.
7:19 am
♪ oh! [ both slurping ] ♪ [ female announcer ] the irresistible taste of cinnamon toast crunch. crave those crazy squares. [ male announcer ] surprisingly priced at $15,995, the 2011 jetta has arrived. discover german engineering and premium style on the jetta s with best-in-class rear legroom, as well as no-charge scheduled carefree maintenance, all standard. that's great for the price of good. hurry in, and for a limited time while they last get a 2011 jetta for $179 a month. visit vwdealer.com today.
7:20 am
7:21 am
look at these pictures. you don't think anybody survived this one.
7:22 am
a small plane just smashes into a building and bursts into flames. there's the pictures. i can't believe someone is rolling on this, by the way. four people on board escaped alive. it happened in california on saturday. the small plane was trying to land at camarillo airport, missed the runway by half a mile. hitting a nearby storage facility. witnesses say the survivors managed to walk away from the wreck. >> that's incredible. >> they jumped in my arms and i pulled them away from the wreck and not too long after that the thing exploded. >> all four survivors rushed to the hospital with injuries ranging from minor to severe. wow. that's something else. all right. if you have a lead foot this is for you. texas lawmakers close to signing off on a new 85 mile per hour speed limit. the texas autobon would make it the highest speed limit in the country. the d.o.t. wants to increase the speed limit on designated roads cleared by traffic and engineering studies. there is pushback as you can
7:23 am
imagine, including from insurance companies that say higher speeds increase the likelihood the drivers would be killed in a crash. >> which is true, but man, being able to go 85. >> a lot of problems going fast. if you're an experienced driver you can handle it. not everybody is. >> the pictures we're showing where they have the 85 mile an hour speed limits. >> a long stretch of flat road. >> not bumper to bumper traffic. >> uses more fuel. >> in new york city they don't have to have a speed limit. they have so many cars, you can't ever go over five miles per hour. >> i'm always fascinated when i see performance cars in manhattan. why didn't you buy a cen tra or corolla. the fate of a group of rescued circus lions looks better every day. the big cats taken from bolivia to a sanctuary northeast of denver. they will be able to explore their habitats. the lions said to be healthier, happier than when they arrived. it's a trio of cats the most
7:24 am
adventurous. they will be kept in four prides to adjust their 80 acre high altitude surroundings. coming up next on "american morning," no relief from the rise in gas prices. 20th day in a row up. we'll tell you what that means for an already fragile economic recovery. and despite the move toward a cease-fire in libya, a brutal fight to gain control of one of the cities in the country, the latest coming up after the break. >> 24 minutes after the hour. [ sneezes ] allergies? you think i have allergies? you're sneezing. i'm allergic to you. doubtful, you love me. hey, you can't take allegra with fruit juice. what? yeah, it's on the label. really? here, there's nothing about juice on the zyrtec® label. what? labels are meant to be read. i'd be lost without you.
7:25 am
i knew you weren't allergic to me. [ sneezes ] you know, you can't take allegra with orange juice. both: really? fyi. [ male announcer ] get zyrtec®'s proven allergy relief and love the air®.
7:26 am
7:27 am
if your adriving, most of us, you feel the pinch of the high gas prices. carmen is minding your business this morning. coming close to a dubious mark about the highest price ever. >> unpinch us. >> it's pretty big. >> i'm not going to. gas is really high now, it's up 20 cents in the past two weeks alone. $3.77 a gallon. we're only 35 cents from the all-time high of july 2008 of $4.11. i just got back from california it's over $4 there. chicago's already at $4.11. hawaii almost $4 and new york
7:28 am
and florida as well, $4 a gallon. gas prices are a big barometer for consumers. we have tight budgets so we're going to have to cut to spend more on gas. once gas gets over $4, this is going to slow consumer spending and given the friction on the other side with retailers, retailers have to raise their prices to meet the higher transportation costs so we know that consumer spending is probably going to go down. this is really affected by gas. notice it's not affected by your cable bill, cell phone, no other bill that we have really affects our spending as much as sghoos every week you feel it right you away. >> you see it in giant numbers. >> tax on consumers. some of the experts thought the worst might be behind us, a little more to go, the big push had been made, but they keep climbing up. >> more and more demand and that's a part of the problem. second biggest item on our budget is transportation. >> all this back and forth going on in washington about the budgets, has that had an effect on wall street? >> that was friday. friday we were down, your
7:29 am
morning market check, dow down almost 30 points, s&p 500 down 5. things are looking much rosier today because a deal was made. >> the big worry the debt ceiling, start messing with the debt ceiling, that could be a problem for wall street. >> about gas, those oil prices are still a threat and markets may feel that as well. >> exactly. >> carmen wong ullrich. congress and the congress preparing for a new bigger battle over the soaring national debt. president obama wants law makers to raise the $14.29 trillion debt ceiling. which we are going to hit next month. about the middle of may. republicans want something in return for doing that. the president will also announce his long-term plan for reducing the deficit on wednesday. a 6.6 magnitude earthquake has hit northern japan, comes on the one-month anniversary of the march 11th earthquake and tsunami. it's not clear yet if there's any new damage but the latest quake forced workers at the severely damaged nuclear plant in fukushima to evacuate. libyan leader moammar gadhafi reportedly agreeing to a
7:30 am
cease-fire deal with the african union. it's being called a road map to peace and calls for the immediate end to fighting and mediation with rebel leaders. opposition forces still want gadhafi to step down. it is unclear whether that is part of this peace plan. talks are set to begin today in benghazi between the libyan rebel leaders and african union members on the heels of a stronghold ajdabiya. gadhafi's army pushed out with the help of nato air strikes. fred is live in tripoli. is a cease-fire in effect? are both sides honoring it? >> no. there's no cease-fire whatsoever in effect. basically what we heard yesterday after moammar gadhafi met these five leaders from the african union, he agreed to their part of the peace plan, which in essence, called for first of all an immediate cease-fire and a monitoring force on the ground. so you're talking about boots on the ground, possibly from the african union, possibly also from the united nations to
7:31 am
verify that cease-fire and then, of course, for a transitional process as they call it, to try to bring the two sides back together. one of the interesting things, ali mentioned it, what would the fate of moammar gadhafi be under such a peace plan? clearly at this point in time, there is no word on that and we asked about that yesterday at a press conference. they said so far that was in no way part of the negotiations. so are the rebels going to agree to that we'll see when the african leaders travel to benghazi to get talks there going. one of the interesting things, the nato actually lifted its no-fly zone for the african leaders to fly into tripoli and travel to benghazi to meet with the rebels. we'll see how those talks go. >> fred in tripoli. >> thank you. >> at one school in florida, we brought you this story, the 6-year-old has a life threatening peanut allergy. to protect her it had to take measures, make sure it's a peanut-free environment, their
7:32 am
classmates wash the hands before they go into the classroom. when they started to say kids had to rinse their mouths out, parents said enough is enough. they started protesting. up next, we're going to get a chance to talk to the girl's father. what's going on, what's the latest and did they manage to find peace as they struggle to make sure their daughter is safe? ooh, a brainteaser. how can expedia now save me even more on my hotel? well, hotels know they can't fill every room every day. like this one. and this one.
7:33 am
and oops, my bad. so, they give expedia ginormous discounts with these: unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. my brain didn't even break a sweat. where you book matters. expedia. you know that comes with a private island. really? no. it comes with a hat. you see, airline credit cards promise flights for 25,000 miles, but... [ man ] there's never any seats for 25,000 miles. frustrating, isn't it? but that won't happen with the capital one venture card. you can book any airline anytime. hey, i just said that. after all, isn't traveling hard enough? ow. [ male announcer ] to get the flights you want, sign up for a venture card at capitalone.com. what's in your wallet? uh, it's okay. i've played a pilot before.
7:34 am
7:35 am
35 minutes past the hour right now. we got a tremendous amount of feedback on a story we brought you a few weeks ago concerning the steps that a florida school was taking to protect david bailey's 6-year-old daughter who is severely allergic to peanuts. some parents felt that the school's peanut policy was extreme and they actually held protests calling for the girl to be home schooled. so we're checking in with david bailey to see how his daughter is doing and whether or not the school, its community has come to some understanding. he joins us from orlando, florida with a family friend kim harvey. your daughter is friends with david's daughter as well. thanks to both of you for being with us. >> thank you. >> first of all, david, to pick up where we left off, we're seeing the video of the
7:36 am
protests. why were some parents bringing their kids out on the streets outside of the school to protest the peanut policy at your daughter's school? >> well, there's no reason why you should have children picketing against another child. but the parents had problems with things that they've heard, not actuality, things that are actually happening. they had miscommunications about a lot of things. >> and kim, do you think that the parents went too far in this situation when they were out there protesting? what was the effect on other kids and parents in that school? >> well, a lot of the parents that they came into contact with, actually believed what they had printed out on a piece of paper which as david already said, was at best, half truths about the entire situation that was going on at school. and i think that they could have
7:37 am
taken more steps to try to resolve it with the baileys before they went and picketed out in front of the school. it did -- i know it affected the health of some of the children that went to school. >> you guys were talking about and tell me if i'm wrong, there was i guess a thought they had to get their mouths rinsed out three times a day and other things like that were not happening in the classroom, is that true, david? >> yes, ma'am. >> to back up a little bit, what happens if your daughter eats peanuts? >> potentially death. it doesn't mean that she'll die, but every time she does have -- come in contact with peanuts, that risk gets higher and higher. >> right. and that is common with peanut allergy. as i said before, my daughter has a peanut allergy as well. i know what you're dealing with here. do you trust that the school is -- do you trust i guess your daughter's life in the hands of the school and other parents to
7:38 am
not accidentally slip up when you're talking about life and death? >> accidents will happen. that's with anything in life. but with the extremes that have -- people have done, i'm worried that it might not be accidental. >> you're saying that you think somebody might -- i understand there was talk of threats, they were talking about smearing peanut butter on a backpack. >> yes, ma'am. >> that really happened? >> not -- not to our knowledge yet. but that is potential things that could happen, yes. >> it was posted on the comments. >> why would it get to that point? you're talking about a first grade sghirl right. i don't understand how a parent would do that to another child or would even threaten to do that to another child. it just -- it seems so
7:39 am
preposterous to me when you have children, to one, go out and protest another child. >> right. >> and then on top of that, when your protest doesn't go the way that you had planned for it to go, then you post threats on different news sites, on the comment section. >> you're meaning by that is there was such a backlash against the parents that did this, which they probably didn't expect? >> exactly. >> has this gotten better? have they managed to come to an understanding at this school, david, in terms of this? >> there is no understanding. we do have a lot of the parents have come to us and actually wanted to get the right information and we have given a lot of parents the right information, but there are still some out there that don't want it fixed. they i guess have their own
7:40 am
agendas on certain things and so -- >> do you feel -- >> that's where we're at. >> do you feel safe sending your child to this school still? >> we do. we have -- she has a wonderful teacher now and a wonderful para. which is a teacher aide. and we do feel safe with them. >> there have been some -- some have written while you've gotten support, others who say why chance it? why not either home school her or take her to a situation where they're more understanding about a life-threatening allergy? >> i think if that happened, then that would be really a sign that they've won, that they've gotten exactly what they wanted. >> but at what price, david? if you're worried about these potential threats of smearing peanut butter on a backpack, i mean, at some point, is it better to keep her away from a potentially life-threatening situation in?
7:41 am
>> this is the thing that we have a problem with. my child has learning disabilities and other issues, and to home school a child with learning disabilities there are teachers that get, you know, extra, you know, teaching to teach children like this. so it's -- it is hard to home school a child that have the amount of learning disabilities and things she has. >> got you. well listen, i mean this is certainly a lesson in tolerance as well. you talk about disabilities, food allergies, one in 20 kids and only growing. this is a problem people are going to be dealing with. we wish you the best of luck. hope everything is okay with your daughter as well and she can enjoy school. >> and yours too. >> thank you. thanks so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> severe storms moving east with record heat on its way. rob marciano is next. record heat. fiona, am i crazy or is this a lot of tires?
7:42 am
well, mike... don't answer, just tell me what the occasion is. big tire and brake sales event. you say you can beat any advertised price on tires. correct. anywhere. yes. like this price? yes. seriously? yes. what about this one? i'll beat it. this one? yes, i will. alright, i have only one more question for you.
7:43 am
is one? yes. buy 4 tires, get a $100 rebate. and that's on top of our low price tire guarantee. 3 million tires, 11 major brands, fiona's kind of nice, i don't know why you're not here. a lot going on this morning. here's what you need to start your day. another 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit northern japan this morning. police say four people are trapped in their homes by mudslides. workers at the crippled daiichi nuclear power plant were forced to evacuate. members of the african union say moammar gadhafi is ready to discuss peace. they claim the libyan leader has agreed to a deal to end his country's civil war and they're heading to benghazi today to discuss it with rebel leaders. italian prime minister silvio berlusconi appearing in a courtroom in milan today. nothing to do with his sex scandal. he's facing financial corruption
7:44 am
charges related to the sale of tv and movie rights by his broadcasting company. it is illegal to wear a bur ca in france. dozens arrested for protesting the new law. it makes wearing islamic face coverings illegal or forcing one to one one a crime punishable by jail time. he'll be unveiling it on wednesday. the white house says the president's plan will address programs like medicare and medicaid that contribute to the soaring deficits. gas prices up for the 20th straight day. this morning, the national average for a gallon of regular, $3.77. that's according to aa, just 34 cents away from the all-time high set back in 2008. and the son of a african chicken farmer, is the 2011 masters champ. charl schwartzel birdied the last four holes for a two stroke victory. "american morning" is back in 60 seconds. ever been easier to get
7:45 am
the whole grain you want from your favorite big g cereals. from cheerios to lucky charms, there's whole grain in every box. make sure to look for the white check.
7:46 am
new york city. right outside our building. it's foggy, 55 degrees. we're told it will be mostly cloudy and 72. that has to be a typo, 72 degrees later on today. rob marciano is here to tell us, i think it's not a typo. >> people are dreaming big, but talk of 80 degrees in new york, come on, really? >> a couple peaks of sunshine it will pop up there. i think d.c. will do it. it's just an advance of the rain that's going to come tonight and tomorrow. >> buzz kill. rob marciano, buzz kill. >> i have been told for many, many years. check out some of the record highs yesterday, huntington, west virginia, 87, grand rapids 85, fort wayne, a lot of folks getting into the act, including pittsburgh, farther down to the south, 90s, over 100 degrees yesterday. a big push of warm air right
7:47 am
here that, obviously, fuels the fire this time of year, we get severe weather. a stretch of strong storms, not much in the way of severe across the northern part, but severe weather move across north dallas, north texas. people without power from the strong winds, tornado watch earlier this morning allowed to expire, but still, strong storms with a squall lines and gusty winds through arkansas right now. st. louis up through indianapolis, this is pushing off to the east, northern part of this moving faster than the southern part. delays, new york, laguardia, seeing a ground stop because of low clouds. philadelphia 30-minute delays. a ground stop at augusta, assumingly having nothing to do with the masters that way, but an accident on the runway. nobody wants to get out of town there, i can tell you that. the severe weather threat from new orleans up through upstate new york later on this afternoon, and tonight. this will probably be shifted tomorrow, but the area we think we'll see the potential of severe weather which could include the threat for tornadoes. last couple days six and seven reports of tornados in places like iowa and wisconsin and
7:48 am
today, although the threat is not quite as great as that, it will be that potential. 79 degrees, once the front goes through in dallas, 74 in memphis, 83 in atlanta, 82 in d.c. and 72 degrees in new york city. but obviously cooler air behind the front as it comes through tonight and tomorrow. get out there in your -- get out in your beach gear on columbus circle and enjoy it. 72. >> i don't have my beach body on yet. >> none of us do. we'll bring the hib batch chi out there. >> good to see you my friends. >> thanks, rob. your top stories are minutes away. also college acceptance letters arriving in mailboxes. don't they come on the internet? >> actually a lot of e-mails. >> your acceptances are arriving across the country. how will you afford to send your kids to college in this economy? >> hidden dangers inside your home. some of the basics, how you heat up your food, where do you send your clothes off to get dry
7:49 am
cleaned. what you use to light your house. a best-selling new book, the authors join us to talk about how to spot the dangers and get a good, health ye yey alternati >> a new car recall. if you drive this model, beware. the steering wheel can come off in your hands. >> what? >> that's very dangerous. >> that would ruin my day. >> 48 minutes after the hour. [ male announcer ] nature valley sweet & salty nut bars... they're made from whole roasted nuts and dipped in creamy peanut butter, making your craving for a sweet & salty bar irresistible, by nature valley.
7:50 am
what do you see yourself doing after you do retire? client comes in and they have a box.
7:51 am
and inside that box is their financial life. people wake up and realize. "i better start doing something." we open up that box. we organize it. and we make decisions. we really are here to help you. they look back and think "wow. i never thought i could do this." but we've actually done it. [ male announcer ] visit ameriprise.com and put a confident retirement more within reach. for today's high school seniors, getting into their dream school is really only half the battle. the other half, figuring out how to pay for their dream school. a few weeks ago, we introduced
7:52 am
you to olivia, a high school senior who was not only waiting to find out where she would go to college, but also how'd she paid for it. we wanted to follow up with her. >> they have two new dorms, which everyone wants to room in, but i'm kind of leaning towards the all-freshman dorm. >> reporter: 18-year-old olivia has made it into her first-choice school, cornell, and she's hoping she gets to go. >> we are waiting between two very good schools that she likes. one school has already awarded the financial aid package and one school hasn't. so we are on pins and needles. >> reporter: tuition is up a whopping 400% since the 1980s. that means many families cannot manage without some sort of financial aid. but that's not the only option. princeton review publisher robert franick says -- >> 529 plans are college savings plans. >> reporter: specifics vary from state to state, but here are the basics. you can invest in a savings plan when wr the money goes into investments like mutual funds. and there's a pre-paid college
7:53 am
plan that allows parents to purchase units now and bypass higher tuition later. this mom tweets from florida, i have pre-paid the college tuition for my two boys. florida's program is great. it freezes the cost at the time you sign up. her sons are now 13 and 15. i signed up for the when they were 8 and 10 and now it's all paid up. a great feeling. but some states are no longer taking new enrollments and market fluctuations and state bigot crisis have raised concerns about the future of some other programs. but what happens if your child doesn't go to the state school, as planned? >> generally speaking, if you don't use those accounts, if you don't use those resources for approved educational expenses, so tuition, room and board, and any fees that that university would charge, you can, in some states, port that over to another sibling or another family member. so there is some portability plans for some 529 plans. >> i'm very excited to just get going, to know the day that i'll
7:54 am
start orientation, to know who my roommate is going to be and to know that my mom and i will be able to afford a college education at one of my dream schools. >> so on april 1st a lot of people started getting the letter, on may 1st, you get the first notice that says, we need your money now to prove you're coming in the fall and to hold your spot. so the first checks will have to be going out pretty soon. bottom line, even if you're not going to school right now, we all have to save more for college. >> and the person you highlighted who was doing the pre-pay, that's amazing. >> 259s. >> well, actually pre-paying for the tuition of the school. how do you know what your can kid's going to want to do? >> that woman in florida, she said, look, if i have to see tuition prices going up and up and up,ly not be able to afford college for my kids and a perfect way for me to save right now is a pre-paid 529. i'll lock in today's tuition at the florida schools. she says, it's part of their plan and they're going to stick to it and she can breathe easy.
7:55 am
>> the kid might have other plans, but if mom and dad are paying for -- >> your plans are my plans. this is usher and we can make an impact on our young people. i started this foundation in 1999 and i wanted to impact youth. we mostly focus on mentoring youth, showing them a new look on life through new world experiences. there's a focus on leadership as well as service. my hopes are i'm introducing tomorrow's service-minded youth leader. our children are the future. this is our opportunity to make it better by motivating them now. join the movement, impact your world, cnn.com/impact. what does it take to fly?
7:56 am
it takes knowing we have our work cut out for us. but if you run before the wind you can't take off. you've got to turn into it. the thing you push against lifts you up. so, every challenge is a chance to show that even in this crazy world of no liquids and route cancellations someone still has the passenger's back. and along the way we'll prove we're not just building a bigger airline we're building a better one. i thought it was over here... ♪ [car horn honks] our outback always gets us there... ... sometimes it just takes us a little longer to get back. ♪
7:57 am
7:58 am
7:59 am
tornadoes tear through parts of wisconsin and iowa. i'm ali velshi. a powerful storm flattening half the homes in the small town of mapleton, iowa. the severe weather system is bringing heavy rain as it continues moving east. i'm kiran chetry. talking piece, but still, reports of fighting. libyan dictator moammar gadhafi is saying okay to a cease-fire as reports come in that his forces were behind a massacre in m misrat misratah. i'm christine romans. it's the budget battle take two and it could make the first one look like a minor spat. lawmakers are discussing raising
8:00 am
the debt ceiling as president obama discusses his plans to trim spending, on this "american morning." good monday morning. it is april 11th. we're getting more word in from japan. another aftershock this morning. >> 6.6, this one. and we know it will be a year, at least, of these aftershocks. but this one very troubling and there's been some loss of life in this one. >> we'll continue to follow that. but first we want to talk about severe weather here at home in the heartland. a small town, mapleton, iowa, taking a big hit from a monster tornado. it hit over the weekend, but they're just getting the chance to survey the damage. officials are saying 60% of the town was leveled by a twister that packed winds of 165 miles per hour. reporter adrian witset with knte is live for us. >> they're starting to come out
8:01 am
here this morning and check those out. this is really what i'm talking about. we're standing right next to a garage that was completely destroyed. 165-mile-an-hour winds. the national weather service says that it could have been up to three quarters of a mile wide. and you can really see this, as we look at more of the damage, there are lots and lots of debris, all over the place. and what's really interesting about this storm is that it really just picked places at random. there are homes that are completely leveled in the southwest corner of town and there's other homes that as you can see are still standing at the moment. as we take a look more towards the southwest again, you can see some of these places, they look just fine. others of them have these red xs on them, meaning that the homes are unlivable at the moment. many of the residents went and found shelter in other areas of northwest iowa, trying to find some of that shelter. there are about five or six people staying in the community center here in mapleton overnight and more of them will
8:02 am
be here again this morning. they had a lot of community help. people coming down from minnesota, as far away as illinois in here yesterday. governor terry branstad from iowa was also here yesterday surveying the damage. he declared a state of emergency for my nona county as well as poke hantas county. >> there were reports that nobody was killed, thank goodness. but any injuries reported? >> reporter: there were just a few injuries, they said, at the most about 12 actual injuries. they say the worst of them was a broken leg, which is really, really astounding, as we've driven through here and you see all this damage. it's quite amazing that everyone made it out of here alive. >> they're going to certainly need a lot of help as this cleanup continues for months to come.
8:03 am
adrian whitset with us for ketv in mapleton. >> a tornado of that size and that width rumbling through. and one thing, these things always sound -- i remember growing up hearing, it sounds like a train. it sounds like a train. there they're used to tornados, know how to get in the basement. amazing there were no injuries. >> and considering this happened at night or late in the day. so visibility that was poor. lucky one there. this same system, parts of it, at least, continue to the move east and wisconsin saw similar damage from a couple of tornadoes that rolled through there yesterday. and here's what that looks like. and there were two -- there are 25 homes that were severely damaged across parts of wisconsin yesterday. the most severe tornado touching down about 170 miles northwest of milwaukee. there were two residents with serious injuries that had to be airlifted out of there. a weekend of horrific weather across parts of the upper midwest, and now this entire system is slowly pushing off to
8:04 am
the east. here is the area of concern for today. severe weather threat across western new york, across the allegheny, down through the ohio and tennessee valleys and into the deep south. this is a spot where we could potentially see some severe weather, all with a slow-moving system that could affect us for a good couple of days. we had a tornado watch out for parts of north texas, that has been allowed to expire. the damage done across parts of north texas, we're getting damage video in, we'll probably have it later in this hour. there are tens of thousands of people without power across north texas, but they'll be done with this severe weather as it moves off to the east across arkansas and slowly getting into the memphis area. this is the area across parts of minneapolis. no real bad storms there yet, but later on today as we heat up the atmosphere, there's going to be an issue. and everyone's feeling the heat. record high temperatures the eastern third of the country, guys, and that's one of the ingredients to fuel these storms. more about this a little bit later in the program. >> thanks, rob. >> rob is talking about texas
8:05 am
there. some out-of-control wildfires raging across texas right now. in fact, some people are saying these might be the worst in the state's history. they burned 7,100 acres so far. they were able to get the upper hand on six fires yesterday, but they say more than a dozen more are spreading. texas is not alone on this, by the way. red flag warnings are up in six states. oklahoma declared a state of emergency after fires there also forced evacuations. and just into cnn, another earthquake rattling japan just a few minutes ago. the second one reported in just the few hours, a 6.6 magnitude quake earlier forced workers at the severely discharamaged nucl power plant in fukushima to evacuate. one landslide has reportedly buried three homes with four people trapped inside. today the japanese people are holding somber ceremonies to mark one month since the
8:06 am
earthquake on march 11th and the tsunami that followed. in tokyo and sendai, all activity stopped as people held hand and bowed their heads in a moment of silence. situations also growing more tense at the fukushima nuclear power station. officials are now planning to widen the evacuation zone around the crippled plant. and this is some of the video that we're getting in. you see packs of dogs running around. this is somebody who went in to actually see what it's like in that evacuation zone. workers continue to struggle to get control of the six reactors and to stop the radiation from leaking. right now, the evacuation zone is 12 miles, but dangerous radiation levels are being recorded more than 25 miles from the plant. meanwhile, in libya, nato firepower is helping rebels push gadhafi's army out of one of libya's most strategic cities. one you've heard us talk about a lot here, libyan rebels have recaptured ajdabiya in a brutal street fight with nearly a dozen of gadhafi's tanks destroyed by nato air strikes.
8:07 am
ajdabiya has changed hands several times in recent weeks. it's in the middle of the country and it's considered a gateway to benghazi. benghazi is the rebel home base. >> now, moammar gadhafi has now reportedly given the okay to a cease-fire deal. it's being called a road map to piece. the african union says it calls to the immediate end to fighting and mediation with rebel leaders. but so far the longtime dictator has not said whether he will step down. african union talks with rebel leaders are set in benghazi today. and yemeni president said to be ready for a peaceful transfer of power to his second in command. countries called for a unified government led there by the opposition. deadly protests have also raged in yemen, where soleil has ruled since 1978. and more violent protests in syria. reports president assad is using the military against his people for the first time. human rights workers say four people were killed yesterday
8:08 am
when rooftop snipers opened fire on hundreds of demonstrators. >> also, former egyptian president hosni mubarak resurfacing again, speaking in a taped audio message where he denied using power to amas great wealth and property during his three decades in office. these were his first public comments since he was ousted. in them, mubarak said he had, quote, agreed to authorize an investigation of his finances and also planned to sue anyone who smeared his reputation. and here at home, the price of gas creeping slightly higher. doesn't feel like it's creeping. according to aaa, the national gallon for a gallon of gas, $3.77. that's up about a penny from yesterday. but right now, we are just 34 cents high of the all-time high of $4.11 set back in july of 2008. a lot of experts didn't think we were going to tap on that record, but slowly but surely -- >> it's april.
8:09 am
we're not in the height of our driving season yet. >> unrest in the mideast, the problems in japan, it just keeps coming. let's talk about the masters and whether you think tiger was roaring. >> or was he reduced to simply a purr. we're laughing about all the puns they like to talk about tiger. but there's a new champ. charles schwartzel won last night, to win by two shots over two australians. for a brief moment, it looked like tiger woods might roar to his fifth green jacket, because he started the final round seven shots back and did really well. i guess that's probably not the sound effect for golf -- >> pinball, but whatever. >> i love it. >> and then he faded on the back nine. i love poor tiger, doesn't matter who wins, everyone always goes, it's been 18 months since
8:10 am
tiger won a major tournament. but good for the other one. >> good for karl. >> schwartzel. >> i love the front page of the paper said "charles in charge." >> and he's got the green jacket to prove it. ahead on "american morning," one battle fight ends, the other begins. paychecks for top u.s. executives are growing again, significantly. the widening gap between the boss and what the workers are taking home. we'll tell you how it compares. and hidden dangers inside your home hurting your family's health. a new book claims that some everyday household items are festering with dangerous toxins. we'll speak to the author of a book about this, coming up. hey! you want that? you want a warm, super-delicious strawberry toaster strudel yeah but now i have nothing to eat sure you do. hey! you can have the pop tart! pillsbury toaster strudel. the one kids want to eat carpools, conferences, microwave dinners.
8:11 am
they blur one into the next. we lose ourselves in the fog of everyday life, and drift away from what matters. but like a beacon in the night, it finds us. the light of more than 100 lighthouses, burning through that fog, and beckoning us back to what's real and true. this light shines for us all. this light is pure michigan. your trip begins at michigan.org you think i have allergies? you're sneezing. i'm allergic to you. doubtful, you love me. hey, you can't take allegra with fruit juice. what? yeah, it's on the label. really? here, there's nothing about juice on the zyrtec® label. what? labels are meant to be read. i'd be lost without you. i knew you weren't allergic to me. [ sneezes ] you know, you can't take allegra with orange juice. both: really? fyi. [ male announcer ] get zyrtec®'s proven allergy relief and love the air®.
8:12 am
8:13 am
good morning, washington, d.c. it's cloudy right now, about 57 degrees. some sun later. maybe 82. might be a nice day to take a walk along the mall and see the beautiful cherry blossoms. there's a new deal that should make the deal to avert a government shutdown look cheap. now democrats, republicans, and the white house will be waging a $14.29 trillion fight over the debt limit. that's raising the debt limit. the debt ceiling, the amount the nation can legally borrow. republicans won't raise it without getting something back. democrats say it's needed to
8:14 am
avoid government default. >> now, instead of risking government shutdown, we are risking a second recession. >> the president is going to have to cut up the credit cards. he's going to have to work with us to cut up the credit cards and put the nation on a fiscally sustainable path. >> all right, whatever you want to call it, on wednesday, president obama's going to unveil details of his long-term plan to reduce the growing deficit. cnn's kate balduan live at the white house this morning. kate, there are a couple fights we're dealing with hear. one is this debt limit, which expires, or we're going to hit it in a month. then there's the 2012 budget. but whichever one it is, they're both dealing with this country's death. >> reporter: and they're both at play. and that also means that politics are a play in all of this, ali. we're done talking about the short-term problem in terms of the budget. we're now looking in the long-term and taking on the nation's the debt. and president obama is set to announce wednesday in a speech
8:15 am
his outlook, his plans, his proposal for how to take on the nation's debt. and his senior adviser, david plouffe, he made the rounds on the sunday talk shows yesterday to tee up the president's announcement this week. listen to him. >> we're clearly going to have to do more. you'll have to look at savings you're going to get in medicare and medicaid. social security is not a contributor to the short-term debt, but in the process of talking about our physical situation and our government, we ought to look if there's a way to strengthen social security for the long-term that doesn't engage anybody, you know, who's a current beneficiary, it doesn't slash benefits. he'll look at that. defense spending, domestic spending. revenues are going to have to be a part of this. >> reporter: he ticked off quite a few things. let's go over that really quick and what will be included. talking about taking on entitlement programs. the biggest drivers of our nation's debt. social security, medicare, and medicaid, also talking about cutting defense spending and raising revenue. that means raising taxes on
8:16 am
wealthy americans, which is a promise that president obama has made long ago in ending the bush-era tax cuts. that's some of what we have learned. but it's a bit unclear at the moment how specific, how detailed the president will be or if he'll be talking more broadly about broad goals and principles and working with congress on this. this all comes very interesting timing, one week after paul ryan, the house budget committee chairman announced his budget, which david plouffe very candidly said yesterday, there's no chance of it becoming law. so you're already seeing the next big battle coming up, all against the backdrop of the next up against the clock that we have, which is raising -- voting to raise the debt ceiling. but it's always happening at once. we're still talking money, we're still talking the nation's debt. and again, we're talking about politics at play here. ali? >> we'll get down to specifics when the president unveils it on wednesday. good to see you. thanks very much, kate. have you ever read the warning on the back of your tooth paste or other household
8:17 am
products? most people don't, so therefore they don't realize just how many everyday items could be hazardous to our health. up next, we're going to be speaking with with the authors of a new book, "the healthy home," some simple things you can do to protect your family. still ahead. 17 minutes past the hour. fiona, am i crazy or is this a lot of tires? well, mike... don't answer, just tell me what the occasion is. big tire and brake sales event. you say you can beat any advertised price on tires. correct. anywhere. yes. like this price? yes. seriously? yes. what about this one? i'll beat it. this one? yes, i will. alright, i have only one more question for you. is one? yes. buy 4 tires, get a $100 rebate. and that's on top of our low price tire guarantee. 3 million tires, 11 major brands, fiona's kind of nice, i don't know why you're not here.
8:18 am
8:19 am
8:20 am
hidden dangers inside your home could be hurting your family. that's the focus of a new book that claims that most of us are unaware of the toxins that we bring home every day. and having looked through this book, i was certainly unaware of some of those things. >> you think you're being so careful, but there's a lot of things you've grown up using so you keep using them. the authors of the best-selling book saying certain common household items could put you at risk. joining us is dave wentz, one of the authors of "the healthy home." great to be here. ali was born in a three-piece suit and that's a lot of dry cleaning. >> i'm reading your chapter on dry cleaning and basically you point out, i can't get nine out
8:21 am
of ten people to explain what dry cleaning is, but you're saying you're replacing the sweat and dirt with toxins that stay in the clothes it shall. >> they wash it in perc, a chemical they embed in your clothing, they don't leave it out, and you can detect it on your breath 48 hours after being exposed to it. >> what's the alternative for that? >> if you're using dry cleaning, put your clothes outside for a few days and let them air out outside. >> offgas comes up many times in your book. you talk about mattresses, for instance, which comes with lots of chemicals. >> the fire retardant. >> that feels new to me. >> yeah, the new car smell, exactly, is also toxic. when you have your vinyls and your plaxs in yoplastics in you down your windows and let that air out and not enjoy the new car smell. >> so it eventually does fade
8:22 am
away? >> it goes down over time. so initially get it off-gassed outside, not inside your home. >> so we didn't want to bring any brand names in, but things you use all the time, tile cleaners or all-purpose cleaners, what's the danger? >> we want to kill everything in our household. those are our germs. we want to scour the shower until our nose burns. but as it burns, it's killing our cells. it's not specific to germ cells. so you want to get the toxic things -- don't kill the germs, just wash the extra ones down the sink. >> so you don't like bleach or ammonia mixed together? >> very dangerous and if you mix the two together, you create a chlorine gas. >> my mom loves vinegar, uses vinegar for everything. >> excellent. >> vinegar, lemon juice? >> go back to our grandparents' cleaners. that's the way to go. >> i was obsessing about the dry cleaning.
8:23 am
meanwhile, kiran was in an entirely different chapter looking at plastics and things you use in the kitchen. >> when it comes to preparing food, fine, but when it comes to cooking, reheating, or storing, this is my life. i have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old. >> you don't want glass, thing for them to break. what do you do if rerely on plastics a lot. >> plastics are taking over our world and they can cause our young girls to reach up puberty at a younger and younger age. they're leaching into our food. your old tupperware container you've been using for 50 years, get rid of those. move to glass containers. >> you must have a web cam in my kitchen. >> hey, i assumed when people should turn off their wi-fi every night, i assumed this meant because you thought people
8:24 am
could hack into the system if you leave it on. >> i'm talking about the man-made electromagnetic fields that we're putting out. our cells are used to certain energies and the energies we're create are man-made, they're unnatural, they're doing cell damages, they're causing our cells not to communicate correctly. on our nightstand, we have all these gadgets, the baby monitor, the ipod charges, the lamp, all these create an emf field a foot away from our head. wi-fi, if you're not using it, flip the switch and turn it off. >> good advice. these are the compact fluorescent bulbs we're being encouraged more and more to use them. what's wrong with them? >> they're full of mercury, and when you break one of these, there are specific warnings on what to do when these break. there are manufacturers saying evacuate the room if one of these breaks. >> so if they're in tact, they're still okay? >> they're okay. but you're just passing the buck on to the garbage man. they're going to break it in the
8:25 am
garbage truck or break them down at the landfill. they're going to break. they're glass. that mercury is going to be released into our homes or into our ground water. >> how do we get rid of them? >> stay with the old lightbulbs. stay with the incandescent. >> that's not popular -- >> there's a whole lot of things in this book that would turn my life upside down. >> we're just saying, reduce your toxic burden 10, 20% over a lifetime, year after year, that will make a huge difference, especially for our kids. >> i'm going to do a lot of off-gassing this weekend. the book is called "the healthy home." >> it's worth a read to at least learn what this stuff is. christine? libyan dictator moammar gadhafi agrees to a cease-fire, but rebel fighters are not buying. is it a major step towards peace or is this a gadhafi trick? we're live in libya, next. [ male announcer ] nature valley
8:26 am
sweet & salty nut bars... they're made from whole roasted nuts and dipped in creamy peanut butter, making your craving for a sweet & salty bar irresistible, by nature valley. now make it official. tell us what makes you a covergirl on facebook. the next generation of easy, breezy, beautiful is you! rockin' it for 50 years!
8:27 am
8:28 am
>> supposedly it's going to be in the 70s. >> i believe it. >> 72 degrees. >> christina was listening to our conversation about what to do with stuff. >> the healthy home interview, very interesting.
8:29 am
>> and you were saying -- >> at my home depot, there's a big bin and they recycle them. they say, their point is, you use them so much more less frequently that you take them back to the place where you bought it and it's recycled safely. >> hopefully, they know what to do with the mercury. and the tooth paste, he's saying swallowing large amounts of fluoride over time is really bad for you. >> i never live in a place long enough to change lightbulbs. when the bulb goes, i usually just move. gm recalling about 2,000 chevrolet cruze sedans to make sure the steering wheel is on tight enough. that's kind of important, a tight steering weal. so far, there's only been one case where this happened, but the steering wheel came off the steering column. gm said it's most likely an isolated incident. be on the lookout, as they say. and it certainly pays to have the corner office opinion ceo pay is on the rise. carmen wong ullrich is minding
8:30 am
your business. >> corporate profits were up almost 30% last year. that's the biggest jump in 60 years. average top pay for ceos last year, well, up 12% to an average of almost $10 million. but wages for average u.s. workers, up about 2%. now, in 1988, to give you some perspective, ceo pay was 191 times as big as the wage of the average private worker. well, now ceo pay is over 1,000 times that of the average worker. however, a new survey found that the majority of americas are actually happy with their paycheck. they're probably happy they're getting a paycheck. 60% of americans say that their pay is fair. almost 40% say that they are underpaid. and when it comes to men versus women, 30% of men say they're underpaid, but women, 43% of women say, you know what, i need a bigger paycheck. >> and that 2% who say they're overpaid -- >> ceos, must be the bosses. >> overpaid and don't mind.
8:31 am
>> thanks, carmen. here are your top stories. people in parts of the upper midwest bracing for another day of violent weather today. and mapleton, iowa, will have to be rebuilt after a tornado a quarter of a mile wide leveled more than half of the town this weekend. iowa's governor has declared mapleton a disaster area. thankfully, though, no deaths have been reported, although there were a few injuries. reports of landslides and people trapped in their hopeless after two new earthquakes in japan. this is just in of fukushima shaking again. workers at the severely damaged nuclear power plant there were forced to evacuate for a time. at least three homes have reportedly been buried, four people trapped inside. reports of a deadly attack by moammar gadhafi's forces in misratah today, even though the libyan leader has reportedly ae greed to a cease-fire with the unit united nation. the nato commander saying a
8:32 am
cease-fire would have to be credible. opposition forces want gadhafi to step down, but it's unclear whether that's part of any peace plan. and talks are set to begin today in benghazi, the rebel stronghold in libya. between those rebels, rebel leaders and the african union. fred pleitgen is in tripoli this morning. fred, what legitimacy does this discussion have? what's the feeling on the ground about this african union conversation with gadhafi? >> reporter: well, ali, here on the ground in tripoli, it's obviously being trumped up as a huge initiative and something that is very important. and it does have to have a certain importance, at least, with nato. it's interesting that nato actually lifted the no-fly zone for these five african leaders to come in here and then talk to gadhafi. and they, of course, said that gadhafi had agreed in principle four terms to start negotiations for a possible cease-fire. it calls for the immediate end of hostilities for peacekeepers on the ground here. the big problem with that, as we
8:33 am
just said, it doesn't address what would happen to gadhafi under such a deal. and also in the past, there have, of course, been offers for cease-fires and calls for cease-fires by the gadhafi forces, which then have gone absolutely nowhere. they've continued shelling cities like misratah, also continued advancing in the east. so therefore, this group doesn't have much credibility with the rebels, also because of the fact that they are quite close to gadhafi as well. gadhafi has given the african union a lot of money in the past. certainly, the more difficult part of these negotiations are going to happen in benghazi today to get the rebels to agree to anything with this grown up of african leaders. ali? >> let's just talk about this. who does have the credibility to make a deal? because if we assume that a third party is necessary to broker a deal between gadhafi and the rebels, who might that be? >> reporter: well, that's a very difficult question. it's very hard to say at this point. certainly, organizations like the eu or nato would not necessarily be welcome here in tripoli. on the other hand, as we said,
8:34 am
groups like the african union don't have very much credibility with the rebels. in the end, it might come down to several countries that perhaps abstained in the united nations, but still have some credibility. perhaps germany could be one, perhaps russia, perhaps china could hold sway there. at this point in time, within of the interesting things to see will be how ready both of these sides are willing to enter into these negotiations. how badly do they want to end the bloodshed that's going on and that's causing a lot of carnage on both sides of the equation and not helping anybody on the ground. one of the interesting things, as i said, is the fact that nato is allowing the african leaders to fly in there and to try this, just to get some sort of chance at mediation going between these two sides, however slim the possibilities of a cease-fire might be at this point in time. >> fred pleitgen in tripoli, thank you very much. whether they're making up a class they fail ordinary getting extra credit, online classes are increasingly popular for middle
8:35 am
and high school students, but is this the best way to teach kids? take them out of the hands of a teacher and put them in front of a teacher? is the quality same? up next, steve perry takes up this debate. [ female announcer ] splenda® no calorie sweetener is sweet... and more. if you replace 3 tablespoons of sugar a day with splenda® you'll save 100 calories a day. that could help you lose up to 10 pounds in a year. that's how splenda® is sweet...and more.
8:36 am
that could help you lose up to 10 pounds in a year. home to the lateste depadeal making technology. our highly advanced thingamajigs and whatchamacallits are constantly gathering intelligence on the best deals for you. with name your own price, they're yours for up to 60% off. but we're always looking to improve. for instance, what does this have to do with finding hotel deals? we're not sure. yet.
8:37 am
8:38 am
technology is not only changes what our kids learn, it's changing how they learn. by some estimates, more than a million students from kindergarten through 12th grade are taking online classes in this country. some say the upside is that your kids are given more subjects to choose from, but are they missing out on not having the face-to-face interaction? here to talk about, our education contributor, steve perry. we know that technology in the classroom can really make things better and more dynamic. but online classes, taking a kid who failed math in the third grade and putting them in front of a computer to try to learn math, there might be some concerns about this, steve. >> one of the concerns is that there are people who believe that this is taking jobs away from adults. my interest is in what children need. what we need to consider is that it's not just a child sitting in
8:39 am
front of a blank screen. in many cases they're interacting with a person, the person's on the other side. in addition to that, it provides students with access to a one-to-one, student-to-teacher ratio. and what we know for sure is that millions of children every single months are on sites like conacademy, where they haven't gotten what they wanted to get from their traditional school. so for some reason or another, they're now on con. most of us, when we want to learn how to do something? what do we do? look it up online. this is the way in which we as people learn today. >> but as a parent, you have to be so careful about this. if your kid is not grasping the the math in front of you, is it a sign they're not getting something in the classroom and they've been shuttled off to the online class. how do you make sure you're getting the most out of this as a parent? >> this is what's great, for parents -- because many parents love this. we as a school, we're a magnet
8:40 am
school, so we attract children from both the urban and suburban areas. many parents love the online, because it allows them to monitor when their children are learning. unlike what happens with many parents who call the school and beg the teachers to tell them what their children's homework is and never find out. you can sit there with your child and watch what they do. most of the people who are talking bad about online courses have never actually seen an online course. many of them are pretty powerful. >> steve, i have to be -- the american education system is so big and different, no matter where you live, i'm sure some places, it augments the child's experience. i'm sure in other places, it's basically used because they have had huge budget cuts and they have to have smaller classrooms and they just don't have a body to teach that kid. >> you're right, but here's the upside to that. imagine, if you will, stephen hawkings or one of these great minds, a child can learn from really brilliant people and not
8:41 am
be bound by the limits of proximity. right now, i can only hire teachers that are in about a 20-mile radius of our school. but i can give my children access to courses if people teaching all over the world. we can have our children learn with people in china, right now. so we can provide our children with a more robust academic experience -- >> i don't know, you don't want to send your kid to school to put them in front of a computer to have someone else teach them. >> the teach in front of them doesn't have to be physically in front of them. a person in front of them could also be online. this is a way in which people do more than just learn, they fall in love. so clearly online is more personal than we'd like to think it is. >> we know the technology clearly changing the education, so we'll continue to follow that. one last question i want to ask you, quickly, in new york, a report that there may be a way for some teachers to get out of the so-called rubber rooms. explain to us what rubber rooms are and explain to us what this story means and how you weigh in on it. >> what a rubber room is, it's a
8:42 am
holding position in which teachers have put in who have been removed from the classroom. so during that time, they receive full benefits and pay into their retirement and when they return to the classroom, they continue where they were. if they were in the rubber room for two years and teaching for three years before, they have five years still and they keep going. what's happening right now in new york, they're allowing some teachers to buy their way back into the classroom, spending as much as $7,500 after having done something found to be egregious. >> paying a penalty, and they've learned their lesson and go back after paying their penalty and go back -- >> it's disgusting. when a person has done something to children in a school and they're removed from the classroom for that reason, they need to be removed from the whole process of education. this is not a game, these are children's lives. >> i knew you'd have a big opinion about rubber rooms. >> you're visit smart. >> it's not really the popular position to say, i love rubber
8:43 am
rooms, just keep them around and pay them millions. thanks, guys, for that provocative conversation. meanwhile, we're following extreme storms moves east and record heat on the way. obviously, not new york. that's one thing we don't have to worry about, right? rob marciano joining us soon. 43 minutes past the hour. >> it brings your best minds and their brightest ideas together. it helps the largest of companies seize opportunity like the smallest of startups. it's the network-- the intelligent, secure cisco network that lets your employees, partners, suppliers and customers innovate and share so you can unleash the power of your most valuable asset: your people.
8:44 am
8:45 am
8:46 am
buf shot this morning of boston, where right now it's 55 degrees. a little bit later, looking at showers going up to 67. >> rob, we had some rough weather last night, and the system that spawned it in the upper midwest is moving east. >> it's. as a matter of fact, north texas just got hit this morning with that same batch of severe weather. here's a look at some of the video coming to us from johnson county, which is in the dallas-ft. worth metroplex, just -- basically, just south of dallas and ft. worth. and south of arlington. numerous structures damaged there. no reports of injuries, but check that out. no reports of tornadoes yet, but they'll probably send a survey team out there to check it out. certainly some strong straight-line wind damage there. this whole system is pressing off to the east and the storms that move through dallas, moving to the east as well and through arkansas. we've got some rough weather right now. for the most part, dallas is done with and texas is done with
8:47 am
the severe threat. the tornado watch that was out earlier has been allowed to exspire. also, severe weather expected in the next couple of hours in places like memphis, getting towards paducah, which had its fair share last week. the northern part of this a little bit weaker, but still a threat for seeing severe weather across the alleghenies, the ohio river, and up towards western parts of new york. flooding. let's talk fargo. river crested over the weekend. here's what it looked like. but the problem is, it's going to be slow to recede at fargo. the red river there which has flooded again, crested at around 40 feet over the weekend. it's going to be slow to recede, and with these storms that moved through the past couple of days, it created a lot of wave action on the river. so that likely weakened some of the levees and sandbag structures that have been built up, so they are still holding their breath here as we go through the next couple of days until that river is well, well below flood stage. here's your tornado threat or severe weather threat for the gulf of mexico all the way up to the canadian border, and part of fuel that's adding to this fire, as the temperatures that are going to be record-breaking in
8:48 am
some areas again. could be lower 80s across d.c., could be the mid-70s in new york city. but right now, a lot of fog and low clouds and there are tlas at laguardia. so it's warmer, but not going to be a gorgeous day by any stretch. >> i don't mind. if you have a lead food and an endless bank account, this one's for you. texas lawmakers pretty close to signing off on a new 85-mile-per-hour speed limit. that would be the highest in the country. >> the d.o.t. wants to increase the speed limit on designated roads, ones have already been cleared. i don't think the ones we're showing are -- >> with the little houses next to it, no. >> there is pushback, including insurance companies, who claim the faster you drive, the greater the possibility that a
8:49 am
crash will result in afatality. 48 minutes past the hour. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] sometimes you need tomorrow to finish what you started today. for the aches and sleeplessness in between, there's motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness.
8:50 am
motrin pm. what's all this? big news! we have another way to help you save. oh, really? how? by bundling. if you get your homeowners and auto insurance together, we give you even more savings. ooh! big bundle. [ chuckling ] home and auto together. it's like peanut butter and jelly. oh, or like burgers and fries. or pickles and ice cream. unicorns and glitter! no?
8:51 am
bundling to save you more. now, that's progressive! call or click today. got about nine minutes until the top of the hour. time to get you caught up on what's going on this morning. first, parts of the upper midwest are expecting another day of very rough weather. mapleton, iowa, population, 1,200 will be to have rebuilt after a tornado a quarter mile wide leveled 60% of the town over the weekend. and japan hit with another
8:52 am
earthquake again this morning. landslides, people trapped in their homes after two more earthquakes, one of them a magnitude 6.6 hit. also forced the evacuation of workers at the severely damaged daiichi nuclear power plant. members of the african union say moammar gadhafi is ready to talk peace. they claim that the libyan leader has agreed to a deal that would end his country's civil war and they're heading to benghazi today to discuss it with rebel leaders. but our reporters on the ground say it does not appear as if there's a cease-fire in the works. silvio berlusconi appeared in a milan courtroom today. he's facing corruption charges. and dozens of people have been arrested in paris for an unauthorized protest. this is against a new french law banning burkas. anyone caught wearing a burka or forcing someone else to wear the islamic covering now faces fines
8:53 am
or even jail time. a jury in the barry bonds trial continues deliberations this morning. they're asked to hear kathy hoskins' testimony re-read. she is the slugger's former personal shopper and the only witness to claim she saw bonds get an injection from his personal trainer. and president obama has a plan to try to tackle the nation's deficit. he'll be unveiling it wednesday. the white house says the president's plan will address the future of programs like medicare and medicaid. and gas prices up for the 20th straight day. this morning, the national average for a gallon of regular is $3.77, according to aaa. that's just 34 cents from the all-time high that was set back in 2008. well, now you're caught up on the day's headlines. "american morning" will be right back after a quick break. ♪ hey, hey, hey ♪ goodbye [ flushing ] ♪ [ both ] ♪ na, na...
8:54 am
[ woman ] ♪ na, na-na, na [ men ] ♪ hey, hey, hey ♪ good-bye [ male announcer ] with kohler's powerful, high-efficiency toilets. flush. and done. [ all ] ♪ hey, hey, hey ♪ good-bye
8:55 am
8:56 am
something that was drilled in me early on, you know, college is the place for you. it's my number one goal. ♪ students like me, who take these ap math and science classes and have these opportunities, this is where the american dream lies. when i write that book, you know, i plan to dedicate it to my school. ♪ those hopes and dreams that you have, you know, they're within reach. and i'm living proof. [ male announcer ] when sean was looking at mba programs, he wanted a curriculum designed to meet market needs, with faculty who brought real-world perspective on where the business world was headed and the practical experience to help him make an impact. my name is sean blankenship, i'm making the electric car more accessible, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] learn more about the school of business at phoenix.edu.
8:57 am
an amazing new cnn documentary examines the nationwide effort to fix america's schools. >> all over the place. in tennessee, they're raising the bar for students, they're hoping to close the achievement gap. >> cnn special correspondent soledad o'brien has a look at how it's playing outside the classroom. >> reporter: these ninth and tenth graders are learning about forensics s s a at the academy science and engineering in nashville's stratford high school. >> the goal is to mimic what a medical examiner might do? >> yeah. >> reporter: last year, 75% of students here at this mostly african-american school tested below grade level. >> that's unacceptable and we need to fix that. the academic rigor has to be
8:58 am
raised. >> reporter: across tennessee, only 6% of african-american students are considered proficient in science. for white students, that number is still low, 36%. the achievement gap across tennessee reflects a nationwide trend. in state after state, students of color are lagging behind. >> i think one of the failings of public education has been how wide these achievement gaps have been allowed to become. >> reporter: former governor, phil bredesen, raised standards for all students before leaving office earlier this year. all subjects are more demanding and high school students must now take four years of science to graduate. >> in doing that and getting kids to think more, you actually closed the achievement gap. >> reporter: for stratford, part of the answer for closing the gap is this sort of hands-on learning. it's designed to excite and engage kids. >> they have, basically, gone out and done all of the epa studies to determine whether or not a watershed -- a local watershed's actually polluted,
8:59 am
and with what. >> reporter: they're doing this with their share of the $500 million awarded to the state from president obama's race to the top initiative. the goal, better prepare students for the high-tech jobs of tomorrow. >> just listen to these kids, they're engaged with it, they're interested in it, and that's the way you close the gap. >> reporter: the program is still in its first year, but if the students are any indication, this seems to be a step in the right direction. >> i never really like science, it's my least concern, now it's like my second best. >> reporter: i'm soledad o'brien, cnn, nashville. >> the cnn documentary, "don't fail me" premieres sunday, may 15th at 8 p.m. eastern. >> we'll be back bright and early tomorrow morning. right now, "cnn newsroom" with carol costello starts right now. >> good morning, and have a great day. i'm carol costello sitting

173 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on